2014 Tibet Buddhist Festival - Religious Festival
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2014 Tibet Buddhist Festival - Religious Festival

Update: Dec. 6th, 2013

Potala Palace

2014 Tibet Buddhist Festival - Religious Festival

Buddha Descendant Festival

The 22nd day of the ninth month of Tibetan calendar is Buddha Descendant Festival. As legend depicts, at age of seven, Lord Sakyamuni went to the heaven and delivered a discourse on Buddhism to repay his obligation to his mother. Then he returned to Kushinagar city. Upper and lower Tantaric schools assemble and offer sacrifice to Lord Buddha Luxiari and so on in Jokhang Temple, Ramoche Monastery and the Potala Palace and they offer donations to Drepung, Sera and Gandan Monastery. People depending on their economic conditions would offer sacrifices, help beggars by giving donations as well as worshiping Buddha, chanting scriptures, doing kind deeds piously and blessing all the best.

Auspicious Palden Lamo Festival

The 10th month of a year, Lamas and monks of Moru Temple will hold annual sacrifice for Palden Lamo of Jokhang Temple solemnly, and offer fixed mandala sacrifice, which is the Auspicious Palden Lamo Festival.

As for the origins of the festival, Tibetan folk legend describes vividly: the guardian goddess of Jokhang Temple, Maso Gyemu, had three daughters. The youngest daughter Bela Shemu only cared about playing all day. She was even reluctant to help her mother catching lice, so was cursed to be covered with lice by her mother. Later, the sculpture of Bela Shemu's was full of mice. The second daughter Dongzan Gyemu liked to contradict her mother, so was cursed to beg along streets, and later, her sculpture was drawn on a stone in southeast Barkhor Streets, and made living by people's offerings. The elder sister Bela Zhamu indulged herself, and was cursed to never have a husband, even if had one, they would only meet each other once a year. Mother's word came to reality and Bela Zhamu's lover who lived in Chepu Zongzan, south of Lhasa River, could only meet her one each year, which was on the 15th day of October in Tibetan calendar.

Auspicious Palden Lamo Festival begins from the 14th day of October. On that morning, the effigy of auspicious mighty Palden Lamo's mask of Jokhang Temple is invited to the beneath of the arch of roof of the Temple, and have a bath in dawn. Men and women flock to offer sacrifices. Monks and secular people will hold grand sacrifice ritual. At night, the effigy of Palden Lamo is invited to sit facing Buddha Sakyamuni's sculpture. As sun just rises up on the morning of the 15th day, effigy of Palden Lamo is held up upon monks head to Barkhor Street. Great majorities of pious men and women came to present Hadas to Palden Lamo. As the effigy is invited to giant prayer pole in southeast of Barkhor Street, land divinity of Lhasa, Qiachi, comes from Gama xia to present hada and salute. Then, Palden Lamo meets with her sister Dongzan Gyemu in southeast of Barkhor Street and her effigy is placed facing Puchi area in south of Lhasa River. For the moment, monks in Puchi places Zongzan's sculpture facing north to signify that they meet with each other. At last, Palden Lamo's effigy is greeted to return Jokhang Temple and seated in original position. On that day, many people will burn incense and donate food solemnly.

Finally, it has gradually evolved into fairies festival with special meaning in folks. Women will be dressed up and hike particularly on that day and they certainly come to the Palden Lamo;s sculpture to burn incense and worship to pray for the best is indispensable.

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